THIS is something more than just Wayne Bennett leaving Newcastle and heading back to Brisbane.
IT was a day which was all about fighting spirit and there was plenty of it on show from both sides, but ultimately Gold Coast handled the "Rise for Alex" occasion better with a 22-8 victory over an error-riddled Newcastle.
STILL smarting from Wednesday night's Origin disappointment, Melbourne fullback Billy Slater was the star in the Storm's 46-20 demolition of Parramatta at AAMI Park.
FITTINGLY it was Jarryd Hayne who ended up with the ball in his hands as the siren sounded.
CRONULLA'S miserable 2014 season continued at Remondis Stadium when they were held scoreless for the second time this season as South Sydney comfortably registered an 18-0 win.